Monday, June 7, 2010
The thing about being an aspiring cake artist is that when it comes time for your own birthday, you really can't ask someone else to make you a cake, and a store bought cake really isn't going to cut it. Fortunately, I love making cakes and making one purely for myself allowed me to do just what I wanted.
I chose the dragon design because I've always been a fan of them and used to collect various dragon statues during my travels as a child. Ever since I started making cakes I've wanted to do a dragon one, but only recently obtained the supplies needed to make it the way I wanted. Coincidentally, CakeCentral was hosting a Dragon & Fairies themed contest and the submission due date was just days after my birthday. This was clearly a sign! I entered the cake in the contest and am awaiting the results, although considering the amazing talent on that site I don't expect to place, but it is still fun to participate.
Most people might think I'm a little crazy if they knew how long I spent making the dragon decoration, but it really is the heart of the cake. Between prepping the image, cutting out the fondant/gumpaste mix, and painting, I invested at least 3-4 hours on it, but it was worth it for the finished product. The only real new technique I tried out on this cake was painting.
There are a variety of dusts (pearl, petal, lustre dusts) that can be used to decoate cakes. I've used some on past cakes to add some shading or shine, but I've never used them to paint. Making a paint out of the dust is actually quite simple. Just add a little bit of alcohol to the dust (I chose vodka) and voila, the dust is now a paint. Water can't be used as it can ruin the finish on the fondant and can't be fixed (this also means great care has to be taken that no water is acidentally dropped on a cake when it is being worked on). Alcohol is used because it evaporates quickly. Overall I was very happy with the metallic look and the cake is probably my favorite so far.